the intense painful passion of first love in ultra youth
was replaced by a failure to resolve conflict
and an equally intense method of argument

never wanting to have been a predictable statistic
fighting hard for every breath was necessary
and chewing at the air came naturally

hanging on determinedly
fists clenched around ideals
and never met expectations

dishes piled amidst failures and letdowns
while children circled underfoot
casualties of infinite rays of hope

now squashed by the barrenness of reality-based thinking:
food in bellies and shoes on feet
how to pay this month’s rent with next month’s money

wanting touch to be enough to speak the language of love
aching for deniable truths
and discussion based on real-life needs, understood and appreciated

instead of tilted heads and uneven laughter,
callous unhearing with eyes stuck to televisions
an inability to care the result of abject fear

how do i pay for the sins i’ve committed?
how do i place one foot before the other or breathe the air from out my lungs?
not see your face in all the mirrors, not sense the fingerprints left all over the entirety of my existence?

there are no holes in the scrapbooks
this is the truth of our endeavor:
though the pathways of our lives move in opposite directions, they remain ever and ever intertwined,

we are bound by the youthfulness of our indiscretions
we are tied at the helm of our mutual experiment
we are the parents of our progeny.

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